Saturday, February 26, 2011

Giveaway: English Style

I know I did not get this out there sooner and prepare everyone for this because I really do want it to be for the readers that leave me such lovely comments and always stay up to date with me. The ones that check in on me when I miss a few days of blogging. So this is randomly thrown in here for that specific reason! Good luck to everyone! 

I have finally decided that I am going to get this done! I have been promising this giveaway since I reached 200 readers, but with being pregnant along with everything else, I began slacking. I seem to be back in full force, so I have decided to move forward with this giveaway. This is a more personal giveaway. As in given away by me! No companies, no reviews, just me shopping away.

This is my way of telling you all thank you for the support and sticking around! I have been an off and on blogger, and I seriously appreciate the ones that have stuck around for this whole time.

With it getting sooner to Baby A arriving, I will make the deadline to enter this giveaway for March 13. It will give everyone 2 weeks to enter!

So this giveaway will include a few of my favorite British things that I have found here since living in England for over 2 years. Here's a sneak peak:

And of course, I will add in some originals from the country. Ones that I do not particularly care for, but they are originals! We will keep those as surprises. 

To enter, it is simple! 
1.) You must be a reader (one comment down below), and I brutally check this because I can not stand when people come in just for a giveaway. This is a personal giveaway that I want to do for my dear readers.
2.) However, if you do send people to my blog, they will automatically get entered into my next giveaway (CSN stores voucher). This one will not take place until after the baby is born. Please just have them leave a comment stating that you sent them this way. You will get one extra entry for every reader that you send to me.
3.) For another entry, just put in the comments (separate comment please) what type of tea you prefer (if any). Do you like green, black, red... fruity, strong, refreshing, light, etc. I will do my best to get you one that suits your taste. 

And just for fun, also write in the comments with either of the other comments what you would like from England. Or if you have traveled here, I would love to hear about your experience with the food or other adventures. 

Remember the deadline to enter is March 13. It is a Sunday, and on that Monday, I will announce the winner. I will be using to select the winner. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In with Mrs. Sergeant!

Q. Aside from no deployments, what is one thing you would want to make the MilSpouse life “perfect”? submitted by Oh How Delightful
A: To me, the MilSpouse life is not meant to be perfect. We know there will be deployments and TDYs. Really, those are the only things I would want to change if I could. Lengthwise for the sake of other spouses and frequency for the same reason. However, I would love to always have my family around. But I would still want to be able to move every few years and go overseas. I guess there isn't anything I would change that is realistic. Oh wait, I know! Save the Drama! 

Q. Just how many peppers did Peter Piper pick? submitted by Married into Army
A: I say he picked 24,345,678. And I'm almost positive he did this all in one day! LOL :) 

Q. If you could have any career in the world with nothing holding you back, what would you do? submitted by It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To
A: The career field I am currently working on getting is my dream career field, which is to be an Elementary Teacher. If it wasn't my dream, I would not be wasting my time. I really enjoyed the Optometry thing for a while, but it was not a good, portable career. After a few years of discovering that, I realized that it was not what I wanted anyway. I would also like to get into fitness training on the side. Maybe not even for the money, just for the knowledge.

Q. Do you have a service oriented tattoo and if so what is it. If you don’t what would you get? submitted by The Squid’s Accomplice
A: No tattoos for me. They are not for me at all. Mr. Man does not have any either.

Q. Imagine a block of time has opened up in your busy day for you to take a class in anything you like. What subject would you choose?  submitted by To The Nth
A: Fitness, Health, Photography. Ceramics - I already do ceramics, but I would love to learn how to mold and fire them as well. 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

A-Z Recipes:

Next week we will start back to meal planning. However, since it will be our last month before Baby A arrives, I thought it would be fun to do the A-Z Recipes to help count down to the birth of our daughter. As most of you know, it is part of my 101 Things to do in 1001 Days. I will post what I have listed so far for each letter of the alphabet, but please keep in mind that these may change based on what is going on. Also, we will do normal weeks, which means that Saturday or Sunday (maybe even both) may not be a part of this as we like to travel and based on what is quick to cook for the night.

Here is the list:

A- Asparagus Chicken
B- Buffalo Chicken Wings
C- Crab Cakes
D- Deluxe Burritos
E- Easy Cheesecake
F- French Toast
G- Garlic Lemon Chicken (in the Crockpot)
H- Herb Roasted Potatoes
I- Indoor Smores
J- JalapeƱo Cornbread
K- Korean Spiced Kidney Beans (over Rice)
L- Lime and Ginger Grilled Salmon
M- Mexican-Style Pasta with Chicken and Peppers
N- Nutty Cheeseball
O- Orange Glazed Carrots
P- Pork Roast and Sauerkraut (in the Crockpot)
Q- Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms
R- Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallots
S- Shrimp with Feta Cheese
T- Tilapia with Jasmine Rice
U- Upside- Down Chili Pie
V- Vegetable Soup
W- Walnut Meatballs with Apricot BBQ Sauce
X- Xavier Steak
Y- Yellow Rice and Chicken
Z- Zucchini Chips

As you can see, I tried to add a variety of foods. I have a couple of fish dishes, crockpot dishes, side dishes, appetizers, desserts, main courses, snack time foods, and a couple that would be fun for the family to do together.

They all sound delicious to me, so I hope that it works out. I will try to post pictures from time to time on whichever we cook and keep you updated on how it is going. This will start next week, but I will list how many of them we will do (which will be at least 5) and go from there. As I make them, if I find one that is worthy of posting the recipe, I definitely will!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pouch Pictures: Week 29-34

It is amazing how fast time has been flying. I can not believe I am already 34 weeks. I do not feel as big as I look in these pictures. The pictures really put it all in perspective for me! Even at 34 weeks, I am still completely 100% content with her staying in as long as she wants! I can't wait to meet her, hold her, snuggle with her, and introduce her to her big brother!

This blog is strictly pictures. I would do an update, but there really is not much to update. I am still in the gym. Not many aches and pains. She did drop at 32 weeks, and that was the only time I had the pains. I do feel the contractions more often and stronger, but I am almost positive they are all Braxton Hicks. We even went to London on Monday to walk around China Town since Mr. Man had not been yet. All is well so far!

Week 29

Week 30

Week 31

Week 32- When she started to drop.

 Week 33

Week 34- Mr. Man loves my belly button nose :o) 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recipe: Risotto with Shrimp and Zucchini

Risotto with Shrimp and Zucchini

4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (2 Tablespoons Removed To Finish The Dish)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion

2 Cups Arborio Rice (or something similar)

1/2 Cup White Wine

6 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth

1 Pound Fresh, Small To Medium Shrimp, Shells Removed And Deveined, Cut In Half

3 Small Zucchini, Ends Removed, Cut In Half Lengthwise, Sliced

1/2 Cup Fresh, Chopped Parsley

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy saucepan with the oil. Add the onions and cook until translucent over medium heat. Add the rice and stir until it is well coated with the butter and oil. Begin to add the wine, and stir continually over medium heat until it is absorbed. Start to add 1/2 cup of hot broth, stirring as it is absorbed. Continue in this manner, adding ladles full of hot broth, and stirring continuously. 

About 10 minutes into the cooking time, add the zucchini and continue cooking for another 7 minutes. Add the shrimp, and continue to cook until the rice is cooked, but remains slightly firm to the teeth. Remove from 
the heat, add the remaining butter. parsley and the Parmesan cheese. Serve.

*This recipe is absolutely amazing! My husband and I absolutely loved it! It was my first time making a Risotto, and I would say it was a success! The only bit of advice I have for you is if you are not much of a shrimp eater to not put a full pound. Other than that, this recipe is perfect!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Shopping: Hospital Bag

I know I mentioned a week or so ago that me and Mr. Man went shopping to top off my hospital bag since it was the last available weekend that we had before we needed it. Well there is a funny story to it that I have to make sure I document.

We went to my favorite place here in the UK to shop. I had a list of specifics that I needed. They were some tanks, pajama pants, a robe, basic bras, big underwear, specific kind of socks, etc. etc. The normal really, nothing out there and just wanted things to be simple.

Of course, Mr. Man was with me because we were going to go out to eat afterward. As we walked through the store, I told him that we were ONLY buying what was on my list and he could get a few things. So we go to get my stuff first. Started out in the pajama/lingerie section since that was what most of my list consisted of. I walk up and I start digging through the pajamas trying to pick a couple out. Mr. Man walks up to me and says, "You have to get these!" I looked at him like he was absolutely bonkers! I replied, "You're joking right? You want me to walk around in the hospital with those on?" His answer, "Yes!" as he stuffs them in our shopping bag. Soooo... these awesome pajamas that Mr. Man picked out for me are cow print. Inside joke throughout this whole pregnancy for us. He just calls me a cow and randomly moo's at me all the time. Not only are they cow print,  but the waist band part says "Moody Cow".  Ummm, thanks husband! I can not believe I laughed hysterically with him for about 10 minutes in this section of the store while trying to picture me wanting around in the hospital with those pants on. Not only that, but knowing there would be lots of pictures taken. Really? But I do have to say when we look back, it will be so funny and will make such great memories.

So onto the next, a robe. I start digging through the robes. I wanted a dark blue or black one. Mr. Man walks up behind me with a..... you guessed it! A cow print one! Another good 5 or so minutes of hysterical laughing as we talk about how funny it is going to be to look back.

Next stop, underwear. I was going to just buy a simple pack of black undies. That's all I wanted. Nope, that wasn't what Mr. Man had in mind. He walks up with some "Wonder Woman" underwear. I look at him "your joking, right?" He automatically shakes his head before I can even say a word. Those go right into the bag. Finally, I just told him to finish my shopping while I waited outside because I did NOT  want to walk up to the cashier with those things. But he made me wait it out.

As we approached the cashier (which was a young man), I just started hysterically laughing. Like I seriously needed to walk away and go find something to do. Mr. Man wouldn't let me. As he was scanning the items, I saw more things that Mr. Man didn't even take the time to show me that he was adding to the shopping bag. I have so pig socks. The top of them have a nose and ears and my toes have a tail!! Yes, he got me some crazy socks, too!! I was just in shock the whole time, but I learned my lesson. Never let my husband carry my shopping bag for me ever again. He's too much of a joker!

As I am walking out the door, I am just shaking my head and giggling. Mr. Man is standing up tall and proud with a big smile on his face. He is freaking hilarious. He is so proud, and he made sure I packed all of the items he chose in my bag! He's such a trip.

Looks like our hospital trip will be more of an adventure than we ever thought!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Movie: Eat Pray Love

Last night after I cooked dinner, I cuddled up on the couch with my pooch and watched "Eat Pray Love". I really had no idea what to expect going in to it because I really do not keep up with movies or books. I had heard so much about it around different social sites, so I thought I would give it a shot. People kept recommending me read it whenever I was looking for a new book to read. I did add the book to my list, but I still ended up renting and watching it before I even purchased the book.

I thought the movie was really good. I did not find it as good as people made it out to be, but then again they were talking about the book and not the movie. Huge difference! The storyline was great, and it was definitely my type of movie to watch when Mr. Man is away.

To give a short description, it is about a woman who was in a marriage. They later divorced. She had a lot going for her, but she still found herself lost. She felt like she was missing a part of her, and she wanted to search to find it. The way she does this is by traveling the world. She first went to Italy. Then to India, and last to Bali. I really enjoyed how they represented each place and their culture. I felt it was truly correct with the variety of cultures and very inspirational. It made me want to go back to Italy actually.  So as she travels the world, she discovers different meanings to things and finds a way to place it in her life to find what she is searching for. It was definitely a good movie, and a perfect one for a night without the husband. Although I do think he would have enjoyed it too.

I love movies that I feel like I can learn something from it and place it into my own life. I definitely got that feeling from this movie, so I think I will be moving the book up on my book list.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recipe: Greek Chicken and Potatoes

This week I have no menu planned since Mr. Man is gone. Within the last couple of weeks, I just froze portions of our leftovers for me while he is gone. I will do this when I know he will be away for a short period of time. It is even a part of my preparation for when he deploys. It gives me quick and healthy home cooked meals whenever I am busy or just not in the mood to cook. So this week, I will share two recipes that I really enjoy. 

This one is the Greek Chicken and Potatoes. I really enjoyed this, and I like that there is a variety of ways you can do it. I cut the chicken up this go round, but in the past, I would leave the chicken whole and marinate it before cooking it. This time I wanted a quicker version, so I cut the chicken breasts. Super easy, super delicious, and super quick! I hope you enjoy.

Greek Chicken and Potatoes:
·         2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 3/4 inch cubes
·         2 cups potatoes, cubed
·         3 cloves garlic, minced
·         1 chicken bullion cube, dissolved in
·         1/2 cup water
·         1/4 cup olive oil
·         1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
·         1 teaspoon dried oregano
·         salt and pepper

1.      1 Preheat oven to 400°F Place chicken, potatoes, and garlic in a 9 X 13 inch glass baking pan.
2.      2 Mix well to get everything evenly distributed in the pan.
3.      3 Season with salt and pepper.
4.      4 Pour the chicken bouillon over all.
5.      5 Whisk olive oil, lemon juice and crumbled oregano together.
6.      6 Pour evenly over chicken and potatoes.
7.      7 Bake approximately 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender and golden brown, basting occasionally with pan juices.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you! I hope your day is filled with love and laughter from whomever it may be!

Today IS Valentine's Day. But what is Valentine's Day exactly? I know the story of how it has become a day of celebration between begin two intimate people. Now, the question is what is it to us - Mr. Man and Mrs. Ma'am.

We have spent 1 Valentine's together, and that was just two years ago upon his return from Qatar. He got back at the end of January, but he had already returned to work. Technically, we really did not get to spend it together because he left that morning to go on a TDY for a couple of days. But we were able to celebrate it. That consisted of Ihop for breakfast before he had to leave and I had to return to work. Over the weekend, Mr. Man and I discussed this, and I told him that we have never celebrated Valentine's Day because he had always been gone but it did have me thinking. So I ask him exactly what I was thinking - "I really have no idea what you are suppose to get someone for Valentine's Day. What would I get you?" We do not even buy us things for our anniversary. We spend it together however we want by renting movies, going out to eat, being lazy, taking a trip, etc. We get small gifts to follow the tradition of the traditional gifts, but that is it. Mr. Man just kind of hesitated and was like, "Well I would get you flowers and a card." I was like, "Oh, that's so sweet." But at the same time, I was thinking that's pretty much what we do for our anniversary, so why should Valentine's Day equal our anniversary gifts. It shouldn't. We already have a special day to celebrate our love, to celebrate our life together. We really do not need two.

Mr. Man left for Germany, and of course this morning when I woke up, I got on my email to see if he had emailed me yet. He had not, but I had lots of things from Facebook. I get on Facebook to check them, and I see nothing  but status updates on what people got for Valentine's Day. Things from a brand new kindle to diamonds to surprise vacations to all sorts of things. That's when I said, "Oh, that's what people get for Valentine's Day." Is that not pathetic?! I really could not think passed the flowers, candy, stuffed animal, and a card as a gift. I laughed at myself hysterically. But then the more I thought about it, the more I wondered what these people get for their anniversaries or their birthdays or any other occasion. Mr. Man and I actually do not buy each other birthday gifts either. We normally do something together to celebrate. It blows my mind. I guess because I have no clue. I've never experienced it, and now I really do not care to because I would rather save it for our Anniversary. For me, it's just another day. Another excuse for people to get gifts, especially women. They always expect top notch things. I am definitely not knocking them at all because it's nice. It's sweet of someone to give their significant other something so nice to express their love for them. I'm not taking that away at all. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around it since we have never celebrated it on the actual day. It was more about, "What would I get Mr. Man if he was here?" I seriously could not think of a single thing. Does that make me a bad wife? Makes me feel like one when I see what other people have gotten.

So now... since I am an odd ball and never can decide what type of things to get my husband for certain occasions, what did you receive this Valentine's Day? What did you get your Husband/Significant Other? What about your children and/or fur-babies?

I think our ideal celebration would be a home cooked meal, buffet-like, in our own house with a candlelit dinner and a couple of movies.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mr. Buttons, My Guard Dog

Lately things have been so crazy. Crazy as in lots of things have been changing for me, and it is starting to creep me out. Like on Monday, when the doctor tells me he would be suprised if I made it until April. Then I go to the Arts and Crafts Center to mold and paint some ceramics, and when I walk in, the ladies there say, "Oh wow, I can see such a difference in your belly. She has definitely dropped some." A day or two later my husband decides to tell me "how much bigger" I am getting in such a short period of time. (Thank goodness I am proud of my Pouch!) I knew I was growing because now I have to sit with my legs spread because my stomach has moved that low. When I sit on the couch, it almost touches the couch between my legs. It's insane. I have to learn back when I use the toilet or else it would be so uncomfortable with my tummy as squished up. Anyways, a day later from that, Mr. Buttons starts acting really, really weird.

With all this going on, I keep asking my baby boy if he knows something I do not know. Because I would like to know why he is my little guard dog, like super guard dog. I use the restroom and he sits in between my legs looking out like he will attack anyone that tries to go in the bathroom without permission. (lol) He lays on the mat right by the bath tub while I soak to relieve some aches. He never has done this before. Generally, he would go no where near the tub because he thought he would be getting a bath. Instead he would lay by the sinks or outside the door. Not anymore. He's right up in my grill. While I work on school work, he sits by me with his little ears poked straight up like he is being super attentive and just stares at me. I really wish I knew what was going through his head and why he is acting like this. I am sure he senses the baby and all, but I always wonder if it is more. Whenever we are busy working around the house, he goes lays in Baby A's room. When we go to look for him, he is always laying in her room by her bed. It's so sweet. But he use to never leave our side. Now, Mr. Man will get up out of bed before me. Normally Mr. Buttons would go downstairs with him to go outside and such. Not anymore. He stays in bed with me until I finally work up enough energy to get out of bed. My little protector. When I sit on the couch to fold clothes or watch TV, he lays right on top of my belly. He uses it as pillow. But it's so cute (and funny looking) because Baby A likes to kick him. And her kicks are getting really strong, so whenever she kicks him, his poor little head jumps. He doesn't even care. It's almost like he enjoys it and finds it comforting. I really hope he turns out to be the perfect big brother that loves to play with her and snuggle with her just like he does with me and Mr. Man.

But still... all of these odd things happening and I can't help but wonder. Wonder about it all. The ladies in ceramics, the doctor, Mr. Buttons, me growing so fast, etc.

My puppy is special. Special as in owns my heart!

Friday, February 11, 2011

32 Week Appointment:

I had my 32 Week appointment on Monday, and it went great. I have only gained 22 pounds since pre-pregnancy, which I am extremely happy about. I'm sure I will pack it all on very soon, but I am happy with where I am now. Actually, I really want to have that feeling of eating and eating and eating and never getting full. But for some reason, I do not get that leisure. I eat too much, and I get sick. Boo for that! I guess it is a good thing after all.

So the appointment, it went well. Just the normal, except I had my first male doctor. Mr. Man was not able to make it so I got a lot of random questions. First he asked me if I was married. Then asked if I was active duty. Plus many more questions. It was weird, and I kind of started digging into it to figure it out but I decided that was not smart. It was funny, though. He felt the baby, measured the baby, and even played with the baby. He was very professional and very calming. It made me so much more comfortable. I really thought I was going to have a hard time with it, but now I see why I had male OB-GYN's in the states and pre-military. Now, I know that no matter if I get a male or female on Birth Day I will be completely comfortable and happy. I'm just glad I was able to figure that out before.

Everything is official now. More official than ever. Everything is booked. Paperwork is being started, about to be submitted. Tours are confirmed. Birth plan in place, which is not much of one. Not only that, but the doctor decides to tell me, "I do not want to scare or worry you, but she is already really low. I doubt you make it to April." I just looked at him and said, "I guess we sha'll see what happens." He said, "Wow, even as low as she is, she still takes up your WHOLE body." Yes Doctor, I have noticed this myself. Her feet are still in my ribs and her head is in my hips. To be fair, I have not been gaining a pound every week like they said I should be. I eat a lot, and I have not changed my diet. But I have gained 2 (maybe 3) pounds in the last 6 or so weeks. It shows differently with my belly shots (as I put my weight) because I weigh myself differently every time. For example, I will weigh at night some times, morning others, and midday for others all wearing different amounts of clothes. With the doctor's office, they weigh me the same time every time dressed the same way. That's the one I go by mostly. Of course the baby is growing, I am just not. I wish I would, I really do. Anyway, I have been feeling her move lower and lower this last week. I can feel my hips spreading (even though clothes don't fit differently yet) and adjusting. When she hiccups, it's in my bottom (which is funny). For Mr. Man to feel them, he has to put his hand on my bum or my lower back. Awesome, huh?! That summarizes my appointment for the most part.

Of course, I tell Mr. Man all about this and he goes straight in to nesting mode. He had a ceremony to go to tonight for one of his troops, so he did not have to go to work until after the ceremony, which means we spent the whole day together. He loaded both car seats into each car. American car seat in my car. British car seat in his car. He also put the stroller frame in the trunk of my chair and asked me nicely to put together our hospital bags, which I was not going to do until 36 weeks. Good thing we went shopping for some things this weekend that we will need since he is leaving next week for a couple of weeks and after that we will be busy with classes, pictures, tours, etc. He even put up her pack and play in our room, brought now her mini bed to the living, and brought out some of her toys to reachable area. We even finished up her nursery for the most part. We just want to add a couple of more things. It's so cute to see him trying so hard, being so involved. I am also finishing up the washing and such. And to be honest, I AM NOT nesting. At least I do not feel I am. It's more of "I know this will be coming in and need to be washed, and this will be taking place and I don't want to get overloaded so I will go ahead and work on things as I get them." What am I going to do when I do start nesting? Right now, I'm just planning. This is how I am about EVERYTHING. Mr. Man calls me a psycho control freak. I admit I am a control freak, at least can be. He does not think I will ever nest like a "true nester." He says because I have basically been "nesting" the whole pregnancy. Thanks to being a control freak ;) I can say I agree with that, for sure.

I just find it ridiculously funny that we will be driving around with empty car seats and my Buddha belly for potentially another 8 weeks. Nice, huh?!

Sorry this post got so long. I guess I got carried away with updating. Next week, I will show some updated pouch pictures and nursery pictures. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Creamy Chicken, Bacon, and Tomato Pasta

Creamy Chicken, Bacon, and Tomato Pasta

·         3 cups whole wheat farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, uncooked
·         1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
·         3 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
·         1 (19 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
·         1/2 (250 g) package Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, cubed
·         1/2 cup water
·         1/4 teaspoon pepper
·         3 tablespoons Kraft 100% Parmesan Grated Cheese

1.   Cook pasta as directed on package.
2.   Meanwhile, cook chicken in large skillet on medium heat 5 to 6 min. or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Add next 5 ingredients; mix well. Cook 3 min. or until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently.
3.   Drain pasta; place in large bowl. Add sauce; mix lightly. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

**I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes and seasoned them myself with Italian Seasoning.
**I also chilled my serving before eating. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wishful Wednesday:

Lately there has been one thing that has come to my mind when it comes to "wants". That is a huge kitchen when we build our house. I love to cook, and I already daydream about the things I would cook, the way I would cook it, the gadgets I would use, and how my kitchen and table would look. I seriously love to cook. Here's a glimpse of my daydreaming bubbles.

Truthfully, there is no reason why I can not have all of these right now.I know they would get so much use, but we have no space in our small house. I can not wait to get to a larger house with a larger kitchen so I can have the appliances that I want! 

*All pictures were found through Google Images. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Menu Plan: February 7-13, 2011

This week I had 3 dishes roll over because one of the days we had Chinese food. It ended up being a busy Saturday because it was our last weekend that we have free until our Labor and Delivery Tour, and I still had things to get for my "hospital bag." Mr. Man and I went and did that shopping and decided to get Chinese for dinner.

I knew two of the dishes would roll over because they rolled over from the week before because I ended up having an appointment one day and another day Mr. Man wanted grilled chicken, so it was 2 days of easy cooking for me.

This week's menu is:
1. Carrissa Stir-Fried Shrimp
2. Buffalo Wings
3. Greek Chicken and Potatoes
4. Cajun Flank Steak
5. Chicken Cresent Roll Casserole
6. Stewed Chicken
7. Roast

I spent less than $40 on this week's food, and that is including extras that I had to get for the house. Always remember that eating healthy is not more expensive. It's actually cheaper because chances are you will use more fresh things and less ingredients all together.

As always, if you are wanting any of the recipes, just let me know. Otherwise I will post my favorite one of the week.

Monday, February 7, 2011

(Mil)ing It Over: MilSpouse Stereotypes

I do not have the time or energy to do a video, but I thought I would at least write a response to this week's discussion. It is on the common Military Spouse Stereotypes. How fun, right?!

As most of you know, there are stereotypes for Military Spouses. There is, but there is also stereotypes for anyone and everyone out in the world. Since I am a military spouse, I am going to share with you my fair share of accusations that I have seen and came across. I personally believe that stereotypes form in some way, but in the end, we are all our own separate people with our own separate goals, our own separate backgrounds, our own separate morals and values, and our own separate lifestyles - just like any other person or family.

I thought of a few stereotypes that I commonly hear. To be honest, every stereotype that has been mentioned by others have been stereotypes I have heard for other branches. For example, I have heard that Army wives are "tramps", but in reality, Air Force, Navy, Marine, etc have all been accused of that as well. I left these stereotypes open to Military Wives in general.

Military Spouse Stereotypes:
1. You commonly hear how many military wives wear their husband's ranks. I can honestly say that this can be true for some, yes. I have seen those, but I also know 100x more that do not. They have their own lives and are proud of who they are. They do not let their husband's rank or job interfere with who they are as a person.

2. Officer wives are snobby, conceited, better than the rest, etc. Whatever you want to call it. Someone, somewhere gave officer wives a bad name. Sure, some Officer Wives are just that. They refuse to be friends with others that are a lower rank. They talk to others like they are constantly better than everyone around them. But in the world, not just the military world, there are always people like this. I can honestly say that I have met some very nice Officer Wives. Some of which are now my friends, that I can actually hang out with, go shopping with, and be just what we are - People, Spouses.

3. Then there is the stereotype of Officer Wives being dingy or uneducated about the military lifestyle. This one is actually funny to me because it reminds me of this meeting I went to where there were 3 new Officer Wives and they were asking questions (they had no clue I was an Enlisted wife). It was funny to see just how dingy they actually sounded. But to be fair, they were new! I know I sounded absolutely crazy when I asked the most ridiculous questions when I was a new spouse. I am sure I still do this. And let me tell you, I know Enlisted Wives that have been in longer than me and sound just as uneducated about the military as someone who just entered the lifestyle.

4. The most famous that Military Wives are tramps. Sure, we all are. We like to sleep with whomever we can get to when our husband's are deployed. We like to have our "fat boyfriends" over when our husband is on swing shift. They keep us warm. We like to put our empty laundry detergent bottles or boxes out on our front porch, so the next man that passes by will know that we are looking to get some..... you know. We are ALL just like that! Ok, joke is over. Yes, there are actually people that have done such a thing. But just because it's one person's "to-do" does not mean it is everyone. Living a military lifestyle, you learn that diversity is a good thing, is acceptable, and should be respected. For every 1 wife that pulls such a stunt, there are about another 10,000 that does not. (Not true, unresearched statistic randomly thrown in.)

5. Military Wives love to pop babies out left and right. Here is another one that can sometimes be true. But I can also name just as many families in the civilian world that pop babies out left and right. People have to remember that we can go long times without seeing our husbands, so by the time we do get to see them, our hormones are sky high and our fertility is up by a gazillion percent.

6. Military Wives tend to lose their own identity. To be fair, sometimes this is true. Many military wives get caught up in their husband's work schedule that they forget who they are and sacrifice for their husband's. Think about it. Active duty members can work long hours, can deploy for long periods of time, can go on multiple TDY's, etc. It's not because they completely forget who they are. They are sacrificing for our country in their own. It's not that they are hiding behind their husband's or trying to escape the world. It's because they have to pick up that extra work while their husband's are out at war, working long hours. For some, they lose themselves because of stress. But I can almost guarantee that most all will pick right back up and continue on. For every one military wife that gives up her goals in life (or loses her own identity), there are 100x times that are making a career for themselves, constantly working to better themselves individually.

7. Military Wives are nothing but drama. Bottom line is that their are many wives that like to talk. Why? Because at some point someone gave them something to talk about. I have to say that many military spouses do like to gossip and throw things in the air. I have seen it myself, but I will also be the first person to tell you that they are not all like that. There are some that keep thoughts to themselves, actually keep other wives' secrets/personal problems, and support one another. Think about the outside world. Is there no drama there? Not true. Sometimes military wives are all each other have, especially in overseas areas, and they tend to rely on the same people or only communicate with other military spouses. I think that is why it is seen as "Military Wives are drama queens."

I decided to add in a few Military Stereotypes about military members/families in general. Here they are.
1. Military members make a lot of money. Really? Where is all this money? We do not make a lot of money. I wish we did. I really do not understand how people think we make a lot of money.

2. Military couples are swingers. Yes, there are a few of them out there, but not very many. Most of them have to do the "swinging" with civilians actually in order to get any "swinging" out of it.
(I just reread this and it sounds hilarious! haha!)

3. When military families live in another country, they do not have to deal with the President. This is one that we hear every time a new President is elected. Isn't it hilarious?! Some people need to brushen up on a Government or History class.

*I know I used "we" in some of these as if I was referring to myself, but I was not. It was either from sarcasm or a personal experience I encountered. Please do not take it as if I am offended personally by any of those comments because I definitely am not. I also hope I did not offend anyone in the process. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Class in New Program!

Can you believe that it is already time for finals in my first class within this new program?! Seriously, it has been 4.5 weeks already! I just can not believe how fast time is flying. I am starting to get super excited about finishing school and starting my career.

This whole new program seems so laid-back. I take 1 class for 5 weeks, but I will begin overlapping and doubling as soon as I can get it going. I had to take this first class by itself because it was more of an introduction class along with learning how to manage yourself and balance life. I had already taken a class similar to it, but it ties in to my career field. As the week's went it on, it forced me to find resources to use for my professional career. It has been a great time. I felt from the very beginning that it was so slow and so boring. Maybe because I had already taken something similar and the work seemed semi repetitive, but I think most of it came from the simple fact that I am use to having to write multiple papers a week along with submitting answers to discussion questions and interacting with my classmates. It is very similar with this new program; however, it was only one class. I am hoping that I can overlap my next two classes before Baby A is born. That way I can take 2 weeks off without getting behind, then ease my way back in to it while Mr. Man is still at home with us. I really do not want to take a break or lose any time with school. In this class (which will be the same for all classes), I have to do Team Assignments. This was my first time doing it, and I am seriously such a CONTROL FREAK! I have always known I am a control freak, but seriously this brought it out. I have to say that I was blessed with an awesome team, and we all really put forth the effort to make it as smooth as possible. And that it was. It was so calm and laid back. All of our personalities fit well together, and we received very high scores. I was impressed. However, I do think it is something I will constantly be focused on, worrying about, or getting anxious over. Overall, I have to say this was a successful 5 weeks, and I definitely look forward to the many more to come!

Yay for completing my first full course while being officially in my Bachelor's side of it all!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Menu Plan: January 31-February 6, 2011

Last week, what ended up not getting cooked was the Crockpot Roasted Chicken and the Chicken Cresent Roll Casserole. I am surprised that we did not do the Chicken Cresent Roll Casserole because that was our "cheat" dish for the week. I just rolled it over to this week as our cheat dish and did the same for the Crockpot Roasted Chicken.

Here is the menu for this week:
1. Chicken Cresent Roll Casserole
2. Honey Roasted Chicken
3. Caribbean Stir-Fried Shrimp
4. Creamy Chicken, Bacon, and Tomato Pasta
5. Beef Stroganoff
6. Stew Chicken with Rice
7. Steaks

On Monday, I cooked the Crockpot Roasted Chicken. On Tuesday, I did not cook because Mr. Man decided since we had so many leftovers from the week before, that he would make him a random variety (almost like a buffet) for work that night. He brought some lasagna, shrimp etouffee, and rice. Wednesday, I will be making the Creamy Chicken, Bacon, and Tomato Pasta because that is what I am hungry for! 

As you can see, we should have 2 more meals roll over for next week. We will see how it goes. 

As always, we do each a vegetable with each meal. Since we do not actually eat dinner together, we pick our own and cook them before we eat. 

And, of course, if you are interested in any of these recipes, just let me know and I will post them. Otherwise, I will choose what my favorite was this week and post it! 

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This week is finals, so I thought to re-energize and kick start my week off I would go get a massage. I have been getting massages fairly regularly for over a year and a half now, and I absolutely love it!

This time was no different. I had one huge knot in my upper back in my right shoulder blade. It was extremely bad. It had been causing me pain, so I knew it had gotten bad. When she was rubbing it out, I could feel it breaking down, cracking, and popping. Wow! Talk about an eye opener. I seriously had it bad. But after we got to talking about why it was so bad on just that one side, we found out it was because that's the side the baby's legs stay on. Not her body, but her feet. Her feet are always up in my ribs so when I sit down, I try to stretch that side of my body out so she is not crammed up and causing me pain. I never had any problems doing this, but it obviously has had an affect on me. From pulling my shoulders up on that side and slouching to the left to give her more room for her feet, I have caused that huge knot. She got it out, and I am so thankful she did. And now I will be going back more often. I guess it is just the time in the pregnancy where things like that start tensing up even if I am not realizing it.

I have had no complications and not many aches and pains. I only get achy whenever I miss the gym, and I learned that real quick! But I guess now even though working out stretches out those muscles and areas of my body, I guess it is just not enough. I decided I will just get massages more often to help ease the tension. She told me that it was starting up in my lower back, which I feel the baby in my hips already. I was not surprised when she told me that, so I guess massages every 2 weeks instead of once a month is what I will be doing now. But I am definitely not complaining!

While I was there, I decided to buy my friends that are hosting my shower here in England a gift voucher for a 1 hour massage. I racked my brains on what to get them, and I could not decide on anything. I thought maybe a manicure and pedicure would be nice, but then I know 2 of the 4 of them are not that girly so probably would not be all excited about it. That's when a light bulb went off, and I realized they all would love a massage. Who wouldn't?! I got them each a full body 1 hour massage and if they would like any more services, like a facial, they can just pay the difference. How awesome is that! I thought it was such a great idea. I just hope they enjoy it as much as I think they will. I also paid extra so they can have evenings or weekend appointments. I can not wait to give it to them! I am so excited!

Another thing I noticed is that she is certified to give baby massages. I know most people are like, "That is ridiculous and outrageous." But I took a class to learn how to do it, but I still do not feel comfortable doing it. I was thinking how awesome it would be to send Baby A to get a little massage after she is a few months old. Who knows if I will actually do it, but I am very curious. Does any one have any experience with this? Any suggestions or opinions? Definitely curious.

Soon I will be posting this weeks meal plan! I hope you guys had a nice weekend and a good start to this week!